The final concert of Bob Marley’s career, this oft-bootlegged show has never sounded better than on this official 2011 release from the Marley estate. With plenty of hiss and maxed levels, Live Forever is hardly perfect when it comes to sound quality, and the laid-back show doesn’t stand up against Marley’s live masterpiece Babylon by Bus, but fans who want their reggae party a little less “punky” will find this a great, chilled alternative. Seeing as they were on tour in support of the album, plenty of material from Uprising appears, including lesser-known numbers such as “Zion Train” and “Work.” They’re both interesting and very pleasing in these live versions, but the highlights remain the classics, including an R&B-influenced rendition of “No Woman No Cry” and a rock-solid performance of “Natural Mystic.” While “Jamming” comes with a bit more of a bounce than usual, it is “Exodus” that really comes alive, speeding up as it goes while threatening to fly off the tracks. Most everything else gets coated in island soul and the cool confidence the successful Wailers were projecting at the time, so don’t expect a revolution. Still, it’s good to hear the legend both on top of his game (Babylon by Bus) and on top of the world (Live Forever). Marley fans have room for both, and will rightfully declare Live Forever a worthy addition to the extended catalog.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2